Archive for October, 2013

The Cialis Matchmaker Game

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Your first clue that the aging couples in the Cialis commercials aren’t remotely married is how lovingly they look each other in the eye as they cuddle and graciously share their wonderfully active lifestyle.

If ever a married man watching television was made to feel like he doesn’t… measure up, these Hallmark cards of women adoringly snuggling up to their hubbies effectively gets the message across. You want your woman to lovingly adore you again, then you better get it up and keep it up.

But the twist on the game in real life is that may be what the husband wants at that age (and, after all, he’s buying the product), but probably not the wife. The wife wants the snuggling. The man wants to go all night again like he did at 20.

And no, I’m not divulging any personal secrets or issues; I just happen to find these commercials comically amusing as they are endlessly rammed down our gullets during the nightly news like a stiff… shot of non-reality.

The thing I find most amusing is thinking about the casting and the shooting. I’ve scripted and produced dozens of corporate videos and commercials of happy couples checking in at hotels, eating at restaurants, children bouncing on the hotel beds, etc. I know the drill. And for some reason, you never cast the actual spouses together in a video or commercial, even if both are working actors. It just rarely happens.

For something as… short as a Cialis commercial, the chemistry of the actors working together doesn’t matter as much as how they look together. And it’s very rare that an aging Brad Pitt is married to an aging Angelie Jolie. More often, the actress is married to Wally Shawn or Milton Friedman the banker, broker, real estate developer or plastic surgeon (who else can afford to support her commercial career?), or the really good looking actor guy is either gay or so narcissist that the only one he can truly looking adoringly at, is himself.

So the next time you watch these commercials, appreciate that these two actors have met just prior to the shoot. They are asked to pretend to be long-time marrieds, and they somehow equate this with locking their eyes to one another in adoring gazes, peppered with delightfully light kisses. The kisses are light because you can’t really ask two people who just met before coffee at the craft services table to really go at it jamming their tongues down each other’s throats. Which, for some reason, I would find more believable an action as a real couple about to embark on a Cialis adventure. But it might creep out any Gen X-ers or Y-ers who, by some wild improbability, happen to be tuning into the nightly news instead of the Internet or YouTube.

Since these commercials have no dialogue, I also like to imagine the director behind the camera being able to yell out directions to this stage couple who have been put in the challenge of pretending to be long-marrieds fantasizing about having sex with each other very soon. How can he get the hungry look and effect he really wants?

The first thing he might yell out to the woman, who just slipped her pretend husband’s baseball cap on her own head backwards and has to smile seductively and stare back at him like she wants to gobble him up, is… “He’s NOT your real husband! Go for it!”

But the real husband is either off camera or will be seeing the commercial a hundred or more times, if he ever watches the news.

So, she never does, ‘go for it.’ That might constitute grounds for divorce.

Instead, she just continues to look adoringly at him. But you can almost feel the distance she is actually so self-consciously projecting and maintaining. It’s a look that says:

“I’ll give you another innocent little peck, stranger, but don’t you dare come near me with a Cialis-fed pecker.”


- A. Wayne Carter